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Yorkshire Ripper challenges ruling

Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe has launched a bid to challenge a High Court judge's order that he can never be released.

Mr Justice Mitting announced his decision in London on July 16, ruling that the serial killer of 13 women must serve a "whole life" tariff.

A spokeswoman for the Judicial Communications Office has confirmed that Sutcliffe has started appeal proceedings.

She said: "I can now confirm that an application for leave to appeal the whole life order by Mr Justice Mitting has been lodged with the Court of Appeal."

Now known as Peter Coonan, the former lorry driver, now 64, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was convicted at the Old Bailey in 1981.

No date has been fixed for a hearing for Sutcliffe, who received 20 life terms for the murder of 13 women and the attempted murder of several others in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

Mr Justice Mitting, when giving his ruling, said the murderer had caused "widespread and permanent harm to the living".

He said: "This was a campaign of murder which terrorised the population of a large part of Yorkshire for several years. The only explanation for it, on the jury's verdict, was anger, hatred and obsession.

"Apart from a terrorist outrage, it is difficult to conceive of circumstances in which one man could account for so many victims. Those circumstances alone make it appropriate to set a whole life term."

Sutcliffe is being held in Broadmoor top security psychiatric hospital after being transferred from prison in 1984 suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

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